Chef Shares Amazing (and Easy) Spicy Steak Rub

For some beef cuts – like flank or hanger steaks – marinades can be the perfect way to tenderize the tough meat while also adding some great flavor accents. But what to do with a tender, juicy filet or thick ribeye? That’s where dry rubs come in, and we’ve got a killer recipe to share with you.

This Spicy Steak Rub recipe comes from Chef Colin Crowley, who has cooked for an endless list of wine luminaries in his position as Executive Chef at Terlato Wines International. The beauty of the rub is that you get big flavor with a minimum of effort. (Bonus benefit: It pairs beautifully with the protea Red.)


Beyond the meat – any tender cut will do, and you could also use this rub with pork or chicken – here are all the ingredients you’ll need:

1 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon each:
• fennel seed
• cumin seed
• coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper
1/4 teaspoon each:
• garlic powder
• onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

The easiest way to make your rub is to throw all these ingredients into a spice grinder – in other words, a blade coffee grinder. A mortar and pestle can also do the job, with the help of a little elbow grease.

Grind or work the ingredients to a powder, rub it on both sides of your steaks, and then stash the steaks in the fridge. You want to give the rub a minimum of an hour on the meat – but no more than two hours – before cooking. Plenty of time to get your sides in order.

Cook the steaks over hot coals or on a gas grill, or throw them on a very hot cast iron skillet. You know how you like your steak; our preferences is for medium rare, so we get if off the grill or pan before the interior temperature hits 130 degrees. No thermometer? Try the finger method.

What makes the protea Red a good match for this steak? It’s a best-of-both-worlds thing: The Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend gives you intensity and depth that a grilled piece of beef demands; but with a healthy does of bright and supple Merlot, the wine more than accommodates the spice and heat from the rub.

Bon appétit!

If you’re still hungry after all that steak, check out these other Red Blend pairings:

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